Report: Tata Xenon Tuff Truck Concept bows in Australia

Filed under: Concept Cars, Truck, Australia, Tata, Diesel, Off-Road

Tata Xenon Tuff Truck Concept - front three-quarter studio view

Following the cancellation of the Melbourne Motor Show, it would appear that automakers in Australia are looking for creative new ways to show off vehicles to consumers. Enter the country’s National 4×4 and Outdoors Show and Fishing and Boating Expo. India’s Tata Motors has used this weekend’s festivities to reveal an off-road concept version of its Xenon pickup called the Tata Xenon Tuff Truck Concept.

In a land where midsize trucks are still a popular segment, the Tuff Truck Concept looks like a good way to create some excitement, and it is, without a doubt, an attention-grabbing rig. As is often the way with such things, the Australian-designed Tuff Truck Concept is not intended for production, but the Oz authorities at GoAuto.com say Tata might consider building a production version in the future.

For this concept, Tata started with a standard Xenon and then fitted it with everything needed to help it traverse Australia’s rugged Outback, including features like bigger wheels with meatier tires, an intake snorkel, LED running and off-road lights and a flush rear bumper with integrated D-rings. For more wow factor, it has all been finished off with a matte gray paint color apparently borrowed from corporate cousins Jaguar and Land Rover. The menacing look was conceived of by none other than Julian Quincey, chief designer at Holden Special Vehicles, a.k.a. HSV.

Tata will launch itself in Australia on the back of the Xenon pickup, but the standard truck won’t offer all the toys seen on the Tuff Truck. However, it will feature a 2.2-liter turbodiesel offering 148 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque paired exclusively with a manual transmission. Tata is reportedly considering selling passenger cars in Oz as well, but the Nano is not expected to be a part of the program.

Tata Xenon Tuff Truck Concept bows in Australia originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Aug 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Ram 1500 wins Consumer Reports fullsize truck test

Filed under: Car Buying, Truck, Work, Ram

Vehicles that perform well in road tests by some of the most popular automotive publications, such as Car and Driver, Motor Trend and Automobile, don’t always score well in in Consumer Reports’ more regimented, practical test procedures, so the Ram 1500’s climb to the top of CR‘s scoreboard is a boon for the well-received pickup truck, which CR also put on its “recommended” list.

To start off with, the freshened 2013 Ram 1500 has a lighter, stiffer chassis than before, and the four-wheel-drive Crew Cab that CR bought and tested performed flawlessly and achieved class-leading fuel economy (15 miles per gallon) with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 – the most popular engine choice for the 1500 – and the new eight-speed automatic transmission. The unique-in-its-class rear coil spring setup endowed the truck with “one of the best rides of any pickup,” CR reports. That helped it earn its class-leading road-test score of 78, well ahead of the nearest competition still in production, the Toyota Tundra (69) and the Ford F-150 (68). It’s worth noting, however, that the Chevrolet Avalanche outscores the 1500 by two points (80), but production of that vehicle ends after the current 2013 model year.

About the only things the publication could find wrong with the truck were a heavy tailgate and a high step up into the cabin. Get ready for the next round later this summer when CR is finished testing the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado, which is doing well so far in the publication’s tests.

To see what we think of the 1500, head over to our First Drive review of the Ram 1500 SLT with the Pentastar 3.6-liter V6, and feel free to take a look at the Consumer Reports press release below.

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Ram 1500 wins Consumer Reports fullsize truck test originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Jul 2013 06:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2014 Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra full configurators truck in

Filed under: Truck, Etc., Work, Chevrolet, GMC

You can now put prices to your wildest option-sheet dreams of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. A microsite for the full-size pickup truck twins has been up since January, and now the full-blown configurator is live and ready to take your virtual orders. The only two chassis configurations available at the moment are the Crew Cab with either a short or standard bed – Regular and Double Cab versions will come later. In Silverado flavors that will run you $32,710 for the short box, $33,010 for the standard box, while the Sierra adds a $1,500 premium to both of those prices, and destination and handling for both models adds another $995.

Since these are American pickups the list of modifications is lengthy, but we added $11,450 in just two steps by starting with the Silverado Crew Cab and standard bed, then checking four-wheel drive and the LTZ Z71 package. Our final truck, resplendent in Brownstone Metallic paint, heated and cooled Cocoa/Dune perforated leather seating and tasty details like chrome recovery hooks, and engine block heater and LED cargo box lighting, rang up $57,285 at the candy store.

They’ll be on dealer lots sometime this summer, so now’s a good time to start practicing your box-checking.

2014 Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra full configurators truck in originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 15 Jun 2013 09:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Oscar Mayer takes on food truck craze with new Wienermobile

Filed under: Minivan/Van, Truck, Etc., Marketing/Advertising

oscar mayer weinermobile food truck

Oscar Mayer Weinermobile Foord Truck – Click above for high-res image gallery

Food trucks are everywhere right now. We’re not talking about the metal boxes that slog from business to business hawking puddles of grease, but rather the burgeoning genre of mobile kitchens stocked with culinary treats. From Kogi to Baconmania and the OC Food Truck, many are packing up kitchens, and bringing food to waiting, hungry masses. One major food icon has taken notice of this trend and decided to jump into the food truck game.

Oscar Mayer has just added a 30-foot Wienermobile food truck to its fleet of vehicles. This newest Wienermobile was revealed in New York City, where celebrity chef Tyler Florence was on hand to dish out Oscar Mayer hot dogs.

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile Food Truck has a lot to live up to. This Ford E-Series wiener-delivery system joins a fleet filled with six iconic 27-foot-long Wienermobiles, and one mini 15-footer. The food truck is longer, and has hot dogs on hand to feed hungry folks, so it might not have to work too hard to become a welcome part of the family. A full press release is waiting for you after the jump, but sadly there are no hot dogs over there.

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Oscar Mayer takes on food truck craze with new Wienermobile originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 26 May 2011 10:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Chrysler developing TR Ram Life Style Truck to compete with Honda Ridgeline

Filed under: Truck, Plants/Manufacturing, Crossover, Chrysler, Dodge, Canada

2006 Dodge Rampage concept

2006 Dodge Rampage Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Does the world need a competitor to the Honda Ridgeline? While sales figures of Honda’s half-truck would lead us to believe consumers aren’t clamoring for such a vehicle (Honda only sold 16,142 Ridgelines in 2010, barely more than the 13,047 Dakota’s Dodge moved), recent reports indicate that Chrysler seems to think otherwise.

We’ve known for some time that Dodge was considering a small urban-style pickup – ever since it showed off the Rampage Concept (shown above) at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show and then mentioned it again in Chrysler’s rambling five-year plan announced in 2009 – but talk of the so-called Lifestyle Pickup had cooled off… until now.

According to wheels.ca, Chrysler suppliers were recently briefed on the automaker’s future product plans, and a replacement for the unloved Dakota is on the docket. It’s thought that Chrysler may build the vehicle in Windsor, Ontario atop its minivan platform, which lends credence to the Ridgeline comparison.

We have to wonder if the crossover platform employed by the latest (and very well-received) Durango might be a better bet, but we’ll surely reserve judgement until something more concrete than these rumors begin to surface. We’re also curious as to whether the small pickup would wear a Dodge or Ram badge. Stay tuned for more…

Chrysler developing TR Ram Life Style Truck to compete with Honda Ridgeline originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 18 May 2011 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Osama bin Laden rejected plans for truck designed to mow down humans

Filed under: Etc.

Trucks from Death Race

If you’ve been living in a house with no TV or internet connection, you may not have heard that Osama bin Laden was found and killed. Actually, even if you have been living in such a house, you still probably know about bin Laden. Teams of analysts are combing through a mountain of data recovered from bin Laden’s compound, and one nugget of information they’ve found is a bit surprising; bin Laden was against a proposed plan for U.S.-based Al Qaeda operatives to weld blades to the grilles of pickup trucks and run down pedestrians.

This plan was laid out by Inspire, an English-language magazine by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The magazine stated that drivers of the customized trucks could look for crowded areas, then motor onto the sidewalk and cause major carnage. It’s a sick plan, and apparently bin Laden felt the same way. He called it “indiscriminate slaughter,” and felt it wasn’t in line with what Al Qaeda does.

Yes, seriously. And no, we’re not making this up. Read more about this aborted plan and the way bin Laden managed the terror organization from his secluded home at this link.

Osama bin Laden rejected plans for truck designed to mow down humans originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 12 May 2011 20:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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UPS truck gets SHO transplant, flame job

Filed under: Aftermarket, Etc.

UPS Hot Rod parcel truck

When it comes to getting packages where they’re going, few crews are more on point than the team at UPS. Whether it’s across the state or around the world, Brown gets your gear where it’s going with a quickness. The company has used a fleet of proprietary delivery trucks since 1966, but judging from what American Trucker just discovered, someone’s been turning some wrenches after hours. As it turns out, UPS has its own Hot Rod delivery special. Along with one wicked flame paint job and wild wheels, the beast packs something truly under its fiberglass hood.

Instead of a tired old diesel mill, a super-high output Ford Racing V8 dumps 500 horsepower on the rear wheels via a manual gearbox. As if that wasn’t enough to raise some eyebrows, the engine supposedly runs off of straight alcohol for a clean-burning machine that can light the rear rubber on command. We dig the truck, but if it were ours, we’d be rocking stock wheels and a standard coat of UPS brown paint for the ultimate sleeper. Head over to SPEED to check out the video for yourself.

UPS truck gets SHO transplant, flame job originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 08 May 2011 11:26:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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GM considering cut in full-size truck production

Filed under: Car Buying, Truck, Chevrolet, GM, GMC

2011 gmc sierra

2011 GMC Sierra – Click above for high-res image gallery

As the price of fuel rises, those shopping for automobiles began to take an even deeper look at their options before plunking down the greenbacks. It’s an economics carnival ride that never seems to stop running, and consumers can never stop riding. General Motors has been paying extra attention to the amount of trucks it’s selling, and it knows that a 111-day stockpile of full-size pickups is less than ideal.

One month is hardly a trend, however, and GM’s North American President Mark Reuss will be eyeballing the company’s pickup truck inventory as the weeks progress. Should the amount of trucks sitting on lot stay high, Reuss will have to scale back production of his full-size work horses.

As trucks sit and fuel prices rise, economy cars start to look more attractive to shoppers. GM saw a record number of Chevrolet Cruze sedans finding new homes in April. Even though its compacts are surging, trucks haven’t fallen completely flat. Year-to-date demand for pickups, despite falling last month, is still up compared to 2010.

GM considering cut in full-size truck production originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 May 2011 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Yes, you can drive a trophy truck on two wheels

Filed under: Truck, Etc., Videos, Off-Road, Racing

ballistic bj baldwin drives on two wheels

BJ Baldwin goes two wheelin’ in his trophy truck – Click above to watch video after the jump

Putting a car – or, more accurately, keeping a car – on two wheels is challenging. Some cars, we imagine, will be better suited to the task. Say, for example, an old BMW fitted with a roll-cage. Others, however, are less than ideal. We have to imagine that trophy truck is somewhere on that not-so-easy list. Despite this, Ballistic BJ Baldwin is rather skilled at getting his desert-dashing pickup on two wheels… and keeping it there.

The truck weighs more than 6,000 pounds and the suspension travels farther than the Griswold’s on vacation. None of that matters to Baldwin because the man has serious skills behind the wheel. Click past the jump to watch him go two-wheelin’. Top tip, Kilian!

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading Video: Yes, you can drive a trophy truck on two wheels

Video: Yes, you can drive a trophy truck on two wheels originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 08 Apr 2011 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jeep JK-8 Independence kit finally turns your Wrangler into a pickup truck

Filed under: Truck, Chrysler, Jeep

Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence pickup truck

Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence pickup truck – Click above for high-res image gallery

We’ve seen Jeep Wrangler pickup trucks before that never had a chance at production. They’re the kind of teasing that many die-hard Wrangler lovers just can’t handle, so the folks at Mopar are giving owners of the four-door Unlimited a chance to make their own Jeep pickup.

Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence pickup truck bedThe Wrangler JK-8 Independence is a new Mopar kit that provides a 50-inch pickup truck bed with 44 inches of width between the wheel wells. The folks at Mopar aren’t ready to talk price just yet, but they promised two variants of the kit. One is a weld-free bolt-on setup that mechanically inclined Jeep owners can put together “over a weekend.” The second is a show-ready kit that can be fitted at the dealership or a specialty body shop. The parts for both kits will reportedly cost about the same, but labor costs for the show truck version will cost extra. The kit will reportedly be available in every color that you can currently get the Wrangler Unlimited.

In all, Mopar tells us the kit includes a bed floor, all the necessary body panels, the fiberglass cap and a new bulkhead. To build your own JK-8 Independence, you’ll need to remove all the interior parts behind the front seats. The new body panels will cover the second row entrance, and a short fiberglass cap provides enough covered space for your gear.

The bright yellow JK-8 show truck, which is based off of a 2011 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, features a Mopar/Dynatrac ProRock 44 front axle and a stock 44 rear axle with 4.88 gears. Thirty-seven inch BF Goodrich Mud Terrain KM2 tires and a 4.5-inch long-arm suspension kit make sure this makeshift truck doesn’t get stuck even in the most inhospitable terrain. Special off-road capable bumpers round out the modifications, and all of the above modifications are available straight from the Mopar catalog.

Click on the gallery below to check out the official Jeep Wrangler pickup truck that you’ve all been waiting for.

Gallery: Jeep Wrangler JK-8 Independence pickup truck kit

Photos copyright (C)2011 Chris Shunk / AOL

[Source: Chrysler]

Continue reading Jeep JK-8 Independence kit finally turns your Wrangler into a pickup truck

Jeep JK-8 Independence kit finally turns your Wrangler into a pickup truck originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 07 Apr 2011 12:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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